CNN Highlights Bedbugs, Dust Mites in Mattresses
Posted by Shifrah on Friday, July 30, 2010
Allergy bedding limits your exposure to allergens.Today in Meet the Critters Inside Your Mattress, CNN Health highlights the allergens that lurk in mattresses: "The mattress can be a jungle of dust mites and bedbugs, milling around among dried remnants of blood, saliva, sweat and basically all the other bodily fluids you can think of."

Amidst a recent report from the National Pest Management Association that bedbug infestations are still on the rise, awareness of nighttime pests continues to increase. Bedbugs, while horrifying to think about, do not necessarily pose a danger to all people; however, some individuals are allergic to their bites.

But, as many allergy sufferers know, even if bedbugs are never an issue, beds can harbor other allergens – namely dust mites – that induce severe allergy symptoms, disrupting sleep and thereby diminishing quality of life.

Dr. Clifford Bassett, a New York allergist, says that about 10 percent of people are sensitive to dust mites, which pose a particular problem for those with asthma. He recommends using allergy bedding and washing linens frequently in water at least 130 degrees F. Stuffed animals, which can also play host to dust mites, may either be washed or put in the freezer for at least five hours to kill the pests.

Another angle of attack against dust mites is vacuuming the mattress to help reduce dust mite populations. As Dr. Sharon Horesh Bergquist of the department of medicine at Emory University puts it, "I don't think people give a lot of thought and energy into proper mattress care. It really can improve not only the quality of people's sleep but also reduce their chances of having mites and infestations of bedbugs."

Mold and mildew, which can thrive in the warm, moist environment that beds can provide, may also be limited by waterproof mattress pads or covers. Furthermore, pets should be kept off the bed to prevent other kinds of vermin from getting into the mattress.

Environmental control of allergens lines up with the principle of prevention, and taking proper precautions against allergens propagating in mattresses and bedding is a key element – indeed, maybe the most crucial component – of beginning to reduce your exposure to allergens.

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